Welcome to SigFig. Our team is hard at work building SigFig, and we’re excited about the long and exciting journey that awaits. But before we put on our boots and blaze the trail, I thought I might take a step back and explain where we’re going and why.
Why SigFig, Why Now
For individual investors – from day traders to 401k retirees – these past few years have been tumultuous. As a country we’ve faced a recession, record breaking volatility, and the near collapse of the US financial system. And although thankfully we made it through and are slowly rebuilding the economy, the financial crisis exposed just how broken much of the investment industry is. Conflicts of interest abound; transparency and honesty are the exceptions not the norm; fees exist behind every nook and cranny; innovation is virtually non-existent; and at a macro level the way we invest hasn’t really changed despite the fact that technology has transformed many other aspects of our lives.
The fact is, saving for retirement and growing your nest egg is just as hard, if not harder, than it was a decade ago. Tough market conditions along with a complex, convoluted, and opaque financial system has made it increasingly hard to invest well. As the team that built Wikinvest Portfolio, our data clearly showed just how frequently people made costly, yet avoidable investment mistakes. As we watched investors lose millions to Wall Street in the form of fees and bad investments, we realized we were in a truly unique position to help people.
That’s when we asked ourselves, “What if we built something that actually helped people invest better?”
And thus, SigFig was born.
Our mission is to build a new kind of investment company: one that uses science and data to help everyday investors invest better; one that treasures innovation and values beautiful design; one whose DNA is Silicon Valley at the core, not Wall Street; one which values simplicity; one whose engineers develop software on Macbooks not mainframes, whose product managers revel in the opportunities created by a world filled with smartphones and tablets, and whose investment team embraces the capabilities of technology.
We are a company that wants to create transparency in an industry mired with conflicts of interest and hidden fees. Most importantly, we promise to create an investment company that puts people before profits.
What’s Missing From Investing Today
Here are some of our core beliefs that have inspired the creation of SigFig:
- Ease & Simplicity: Managing your investments requires too much effort today. As a result, most people don’t have the time or the energy (and often interest) to manage their investments. We want to take the pain out of investing.
- Transparency & Objectivity: It’s your money; you deserve to see what’s happening to it. And what you deserve to see shouldn’t just be the bare minimum required to satisfy governmental regulations. The investment industry has too many conflicts of interest and has slowly been optimized to maximize profits for the corporations – not the people. We want to change that.
- Equality: Access to high quality investment tools shouldn’t be reserved for the uber rich. Through innovation and technology, we will be able to give everyone high quality investment tools and advice, regardless of how much money they have.
- Beautiful Design: Most investment tools look the same way they did 10 years ago. It’s not just about beauty though, it’s also about usability. We think design and the way information is presented matters a lot. That’s why we’re taking a fresh approach to investment software and creating user interfaces that are cleaner and easier to use. After all, technology should simplify your life, not complicate it.
Join us on our journey
We believe the way people invest is broken, and we are going to help change that. It’s a tall order, but we’ve assembled an amazing team of engineers, designers, product managers, investment gurus and more to make our dreams a reality.
Mike is the CEO and co-founder of SigFig.